Topic: Biden Order Will Require New Cybersecurity Standards In Response To SolarWinds Attack
The Biden administration is putting the final touches on an executive order aimed at helping the U.S. defend itself against sophisticated cyberattacks like the one Russian hackers recently leveled against Texas software-maker SolarWinds.
The order, which is still being drafted, lays out a series of new requirements for companies that do business with the government. The initiative includes plans for more systematic investigations of cyber events and standards for software development. The idea is to use the federal contracting process to force changes that will eventually trickle down to the rest of the private sector.
“So essentially, federal government procurement allows us to say, ‘If you’re doing business with the federal government, here’s a set of things you need to comply with in order to do business with us,'” Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology at the White House, told NPR in an exclusive interview.
She says the executive order will “set the goal, give it a timeline and then establish the process to work out the details” on a handful of cybersecurity initiatives, from setting up new ways to investigate cyberattacks to developing standards for software.
The effort is all part of the administration’s response to a recent cyberattack on a Texas software company called SolarWinds. Hackers linked to Russian intelligence compromised one of the company’s routine software updates and used that access to break into about 100 top U.S. companies and about a dozen government agencies. The hackers roamed around the networks for nine months before they were finally discovered. It is still unclear whether this was merely an espionage operation or a precursor for something more sinister.
The hack itself was sophisticated and stealthy. The intruders used novel techniques and exploited gaps in the nation’s current cybersecurity systems.
Topic Discussed: Biden Order Will Require New Cybersecurity Standards In Response To SolarWinds Attack
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